White husband became Iranian September eleventh.

Maren Robinson
Chicago, IL

I watched how my American-born half-Iranian husband went from being perceived as white (Iranians are Caucasian) to being perceived as vaguely “middle eastern” (eliciting double takes on trains and extra searches at airports) after September 11th. He is an actor, so I have also watched him play characters who are Caucasian, Spanish, Jewish, Armenian, French, and of course various middle eastern characters and it is still something he struggles with feeling the advantaged of being raised white, but playing other races, with other dialects and languages. I have also watched his increasing discomfort as he tries to reconcile the complex issues of race and the current American discomfort with anyone who seems to be middle eastern with his artistic practice.

 

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